Smiling through the sorta empty finale at The Joe.
Well, I have good news and bad news.
Starting on a positive note, let it be known that SCENE throws down, even in the direst of times. Wet Hot American Summer
as members gathered at The Joe last night for the highly anticipated Spoleto finale. Picture pink flamingo-headed innertubes, beach balls, and baby pools full of cheap drinks, overlooking the diamond rounding first base. Off in the outfield, the mainstage was too far to see clearly from the stands, but SCENEsters could grab a thoughtfully provided blanket, and make the short trek onto the field if so desired to get closer to the action.
I use the word "action" here lightly, because folks, the finale saw about as much excitement as my teenage years spent at an all girls boarding school on a horse farm in Baltimore County; in short: not much happened.
A few hundred people spread out leisurely between the stands and field, and a handful of the Joe's regular vendors opened up shop to serve their normal fare including dogs, fries, barbecue sandwiches, pizza, and ice cream. The gucci hotdog stand near the water wasn't even open. So much for Homewreckers.
Frankly, the whole thing left most of the festival-goers with whom I chatted feeling pretty disheartened, and having attended the last five finales myself, I felt it too. Even the fireworks couldn't seem to get it up — literally. They lasted all of two minutes, which when I think back to last year's brilliant and emotional display (seemingly choreographed to the Revivalists' cover of "Hey Jude" — I didn't cry, you cried!) makes it all the more depressing in comparison.
Thankfully SCENE provided a nice little refuge from the otherwise lackluster conclusion to the 2018 season. As usual, plenty of alcohol, including a tasty red wine sangria from MIX bartending service, helped keep spirits high (you're welcome), and Home Team BBQ proffered an eclectic spread including slices of skillet-hot pork belly, succotash, salad, and a couple of passed hors d'oeuvres. I think the general consensus in re: food aired on the side of "stick to what you know," but with one traditional barbecue already under our belts, I see the logic behind an attempt to try something different and upscale.
In conclusion, to paraphrase Scar from the Lion King as he preaches to his hyena henchmen, "Stick with SCENE, and you'll never go hungry again!"
At least not until you turn 40.